Down Dog After 12 Days

I haven’t been to a yoga class since June 9th. That’s TERRIBLE but a necessary reality as I undertook a massive change (one I, quite frankly, underestimated).

The last 12 days have been marked by scattershot nutrition, living in a disarrayed apartment, and hours upon hours of drive time. Getting to the yoga studio, or even doing an at-home practice, wasn’t in the cards for me. And I can feel the impact – no bueno!

The headliner is: I just moved to Miami, FL, after a wonderful 10-year stint in Memphis, TN.

The sub-context is: I arrived in Miami yesterday, and getting here was a lot of damn work! For weeks! Planning, packing, researching, scheduling, working full-time until the end, spending time with my Memphis friends as much as possible, and traveling north for a family reunion — I am glad I gave myself a few months to fulfill this transition. Leaving Memphis, my apartment, my job, my neighborhood, my walk to and from the yoga studio, and … tears … my people is the low that contrasts with the high of my new adventure, new chapter, and new proximity to my family members.

But seriously, not getting to the yoga studio? I didn’t see that one coming. But Amy did!

Amy, the owner of Downtown Yoga Memphis who is also my yoga mentor and my friend, gave me a not-too-subtle “I told you so” yesterday morning, when I was staring at hundreds of miles of the Florida Turnpike ahead of me and called her to talk studio business (and to also get a comforting few words from her!).

I told her the first thing I was going to do was an at-home yoga session to get my body moving again. She told me to focus on my hips and back, doing lunges, Warrior 1, and supported back bends to un-do all that was done in the last 12 days.

This morning at 7am – such a gorgeous and peaceful time of day – I took my mat poolside in my sister’s backyard, turned on music from the Calm app, and made my way through a 40-minute practice. I didn’t have a specific lineup of poses; rather, I knew my hips and back were the focus and then I just went with the flow.

The practice was approximately like this:

  • Rolled up beach towel elevating my hips as I laid on my back — puts a great long stretch in the front of my hip muscles
  • Rolled beach towel then moved slightly up to give me a supported arch in my back as I laid still and looked at the palm trees (pic 1)
  • Sat on the rolled beach towel with legs crossed in front of me while I stretched my arms upward, to each side, and behind me in twists
  • Cat and cow series
  • Amy’s favorite torture pose – the foot stretch (she will be proud of me for proactively doing this on my own!) (pic 2)
  • Low lunges and calf/hamstring stretches on both sides
  • Down dog – HOW GLORIOUS THAT FELT!!! Stayed here for a while, lifted each leg and opened each hip to the side, moved back and forth from down dog to plank, did a couple vinyasas, moved from side to side while in down dog to feel that muscle pull over my hips
  •  High lunge into Warrier 1 — both sides
  • Warrior 2 series, with the transition to the 2nd side being a wide-legged fold and hamstring stretches
  • More wide-legged folds and stretches, followed by a vinyasa back into down dog
  • Bunny – it used to be my most-hated pose but after days of driving, it is my life saver
  • Bridge pose, followed by a backbend
  • Seated fold over my feet to counter the backbend
  • A series of twists while laying on my back
  • Shavasna: legs up … not the wall, but a palm tree! That was splendid, as I listened to my Daily Calm meditation and watched the lizards climb the tree trunk (pic 3)

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I immediately started to feel like myself again during and after this practice. I had a little soreness in my back this afternoon — after all, I went from a very healthy practice to nothing. The soreness is not even noticeable now, as I continued to stretch my back as I worked on my computer and made dinner tonight.

I am so excited to do early poolside yoga at home again tomorrow morning! I will be looking for a new home studio here in Miami, so future blog posts will be about what it’s like to explore studios in a new town and make the decision on which one to ultimately pick.

Stay tuned and wish me luck!

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